Grain Transportation Overview By Sector: 4/5/18

This article has been reprinted from the April 5, 2018 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

Export Sales

For the week ending March 22, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 37.2 mmt, up 20 percent from the same time last year. 

Net weekly wheat export sales were .354 mmt, up 33 percent from the previous week. 

Net corn export sales were 1.35 mmt, down 8 percent from the previous week.

Net soybean export sales totaled .317 mmt, down 58 percent from the previous
week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 23,570 grain carloads for the week ending March 24, unchanged from the previous week, up 1 percent from last year, and up 6 percent from the 3-year average.

Average April shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers per car were $588 above tariff for the week ending March 29, up $131 from last week, and $908 higher than last year. 

There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.

Barge 

For the week ending March 31, barge grain movements totaled 696,950 tons, 29 percent lower than the previous week and down 18 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending March 31, 442 grain barges moved down river, 148 barges less than the previous week. 

There were 610 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 9 percent lower than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending March 29, 35 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 30 percent less than the same period last year.

Fifty-eight vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 9 percent more than the same period last year.

For the week ending March 29, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $45.00 per metric ton, 1 percent less than the previous week. 

The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $24.50 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week.

Fuel

During the week ending April 2, average diesel fuel prices increased 3 cents from the previous week to $3.04 per gallon, 49 cents higher than the same week last year.